Tier 2 immigration to UK could be easier for Australians following Brexit,The Australian high commissioner to the UK, has stated that Britain’s recent vote to leave the European Union should make Tier 2 immigration to the UK easier for Australians. According to Downer, Brexit ‘represents an opportunity to renegotiate Tier 2 visa arrangements with the UK that would enable more Aussies to live and work there.’
Downer has been especially vocal over Tier 2 work visa restrictions imposed on Australian nationals, labelling UK immigration policy as ‘discriminatory.’ Downer has vowed to negotiate a better deal for Australians seeking a move to the UK.
European Union migrants in the UK who still benefit from free movement rights are now clambering to secure residence and in some cases British citizenship due to uncertainties over Brexit.
Brexit could make it more acceptable for more UK Immigration of Australians
“As a representative of the Australian government in the UK, my job is to seek opportunities amid the Brexit fallout. While the implications of the Eurozone breakup for Australia remain to be seen, I pledge to seize on the transition as an opportunity to address restrictions on working visas.”
Tier 2 immigration measures put in place. The increased salary threshold of £35,000 to gain indefinite leave to remain (permanent residence) which came into force on April 6, 2016 means that Australians and other non-EU citizens find it harder to stay in the US in the long term.
Decline in the number of Australians working in the UK
the number of Australian nationals working in the UK has dropped by 40 percent, according to Downer. While he acknowledges that the decline can be partly put down to economic factors, he states that Tier 2 immigration restrictions have played their part in stopping Australians from being employed in Britain.
As of 2011, Britain restricted several entry routes for non-EU migrants including skilled Australian workers and capped Tier 2, employer-sponsored visas at 20,000 a year. European Union free movement rights mean that in general EU citizens have to be allowed into the UK. Therefore UK immigration feels that they should further restrict immigration to the UK from non-EU Countries.
EU Immigrants may be replaced with Australians
The UK economy is heavily dependent on EU workers for filling many skilled and unskilled jobs. Following the result of the vote, Macintyre asserts that a lot of those jobs could be made available to workers from other nations of the world, especially those from Commonwealth countries such as Australia.
“Under the old prospect, what we were confident about was that as long as the UK was part of the EU there was unlikely to be any change for the visa requirements for Australians in the UK.”
“This vote at least opens the door to negotiation that could lead to outcomes that are favourable for Australian people who want to spend some time in and live and work in the UK,”